Mr. Seward to Mr. Sanford.
Washington, June 21, 1861.
Sir: Your despatches (No. 5, dated May 26, and No. 6, of the same date) have been received. We are especially pleased with Mr. De Vrière’s just and friendly sentiments in regard to our affairs.
You are aware that the declaration of Paris enjoins each of the parties that have signed it not to negotiate any other changes of the law of nations concerning the rights of neutrals in maritime war. We have supposed that this would operate to prevent Great Britain, and probably France, from receiving our accession to the declaration, if we should insist on the amendment proposed by Mr. Marcy, namely, the exemption of private property of non-belligerents from confiscation. But we should now, as the instructions heretofore given you have already informed you, vastly prefer to have that amendment accepted. Nevertheless, if this cannot be done, let the convention be made for adherence to the declaration pure and simple.
The feverish excitement which prevailed when you left the country is passing away. Public confidence in the ability of the government to repress the insurrection and preserve the Union is practically restored, and the beneficial result that two months ago seemed problematical is now regarded as only a question of time.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
H. S. Sanford, Esq., &c., &c., Brussels.